Pope asks children to pray that Jesus will bring peace

VATICAN CITY – Children who know that Jesus is their best friend ask him to heal the hearts and minds of those who sow war and terror and to inspire people to make the world a better place, Pope Benedict XVI said.

“Dear children, you can pray that the Lord would change the hearts of weapons manufacturers, that he would make terrorists sane again, that he would convert the hearts of those who always think of war and that he would help humanity build a better future for all the world’s children,” the pope said.

Meeting Dec. 20 with representatives of the children’s section of Italian Catholic Action, Pope Benedict said involvement in the parish-based program is designed “to help you become saints; for this reason, it helps you meet Jesus, to love his church and to take an interest in the problems of the world.”

Some people say children like to be naughty and that they always want new toys and are never happy with any of them for long, the pope told them.

“But you say to Jesus, ‘You are enough.’ That means ‘You are our best friend and are with us when we play and when we go to school, when we are at home with our parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters and when we are playing outside with our friends,’ ” he said.

As a best friend, Jesus opens our eyes when one of our friends is sad and helps us see “the many children around the world who suffer from hunger, sickness and war,” the pope told them.

Being a best friend, Jesus always listens, he said.

“He listens to the prayers we say so that the world would become more beautiful and better for everyone,” the pope said.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.